Entire DHEC board elected by Haley

OK, here’s a piece of the puzzle that was missing for me when I read Vincent Sheheen’s release demanding that the whole DHEC board resign for having approved a permit for Georgia…

The whole board was appointed by Nikki Haley:

  • Chairman and Member-at-large — Allen Amsler
  • 1st District — Mark Lutz
  • 2nd District — Robert Kenyon Wells
  • 4th District — L. Clarence Batts, Jr.
  • 5th District — Ann B. Kirol, DDS
  • 6th District — John O. Hutto, Sr., MD
  • Make of that what you will, but you can begin to see why the senator just might be holding the governor responsible for what he regards as a sellout of South Carolina’s environment and its economy.

    19 thoughts on “Entire DHEC board elected by Haley

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      Because MDs and dentists are the best people in SC to protect our environment….and who knows what the other peoples’ quals are…

    2. Doug Ross

      Looking at the bios of these people, I hope someone has some real evidence that there was something shady going on before calling the corrupt.

    3. Mab

      Doug — not to start something, but.

      Are you sure you are a liber(tarian)? It seems strange that a bunch of elite snobs’ jobs on the line would raise your hackles.

    4. Bart

      Not to doubt the intelligence and background of the board but there is only one person whose bio remotely suggests anything relating to environmental. L. Clarence Batrs, Jr.

      The chairman may have some experiences with environmental concerns but he is the president of McCrory Construction and engaging in a moment of speculation, would his interests be more in line with doing whatever is necessary to enhance new construction opportunities than protecting the environment?

      Just sayin’

    5. Doug Ross


      A libertarian wouldn’t have a board. And what makes them elite snobs?? That they all appear to have successful careers?

      I’d rather have a bunch like this than a bunch of good old boys.

    6. Lynn

      The DHEC Board has 7 months of “policy setting” experience. They are all policy virgins here. I doubt they remember where the DHEC bathroom is. The agency head is retiring. There is NO ONE IN CHARGE here.

      The DHEC Board is so inexperienced they don’t even know what they don’t know. It was just a matter of time. The purpose of staggering terms of Boards so this wouldn’t happen. Sanford just never got around to appointing folks. Gov. Haley apparently is OK with leaving vacancies unfilled as well as not supporting or supervising her appointments.
      Governing is important and hard work, apparently harder than campaigning since Gov. Haley continues to only campaign.

      Where is the Legislative oversight?

    7. Juan Caruso

      Brad, Steven Davis’s comment seems very convincing in where our trust is better placed.

      On the other hand, joining lawyers with vested litigious interests in environmental extortion,

      (e.g. “This is a classic political deal cut to the disadvantage of taxpayers in South Carolina and Georgia that could inflect lasting damage to natural resources,” said Chris DeScherer, attorney for Southern Environmental Law Center)

      are Senators Vinnie Sheheen and even Larry Grooms who, as its Chairman, has his proud fingerprints all over South Carolina’s ‘wonderfully managed’ Department of Transportation.

    8. Steven Davis

      Okay, I’m confused. There is one dentist and one MD on the board. Why wouldn’t you want health professionals on the board of Department of Health and Environmental Control? I’d think you’d want at least one MD, and it’s not like a dentist didn’t go through medical school as well.

      Who would you take off the board and why?

    9. `Kathryn Fenner

      Yes, Steven, it is like a dentist didn’t go through medical school as well. They go to dental school, not medical school.

      “Health professionals” do not necessarily know much about the environment or public health risks. They treat diseases in individuals.

    10. Juan Caruso

      Well, Ms Fenner

      Unless things have changed, dental schools that confer the DMD degree (e.g. in SC) require students to complete the first year of medical school for starters. All states do not require this.

      I think you would also be surprised how well dentists must keep up (via their continuing education in medicine, pharmacology, physiology, local anesthesia, and laboratory skills to name the obvious.

      Having worked with DHEC and 4 environmental managers, I doubt seriously any DMD would be at a loss.

    11. Mark Stewart

      This is certainly turning into a classic excercise of SC trashing SC.

      First, the City of North Charleston won’t allow the dual rail services that the docks in North Charleston require. They’d rather spiral back down into blight I guess and help push the ship visits on down to Savannah.

      Second, Haley packs the DHEC board with yes people to try to push through something which clearly only will be of benefit to Georgia. Just as clearly, our Governor has alternate future political aspirations.

      Third, anticipating a loss of control, the legislature creates a shadow commission to back stop the port infrastructure issues that fall under DHEC’s perview. Who’s in charge here? While I want a strong governorship for this state, I’m kind of glad the legislature thought to create this commission. Which leaves me a bit peeved at myself nonetheless.

      Fourth, this is also why it’s been clear that Health and Environment encompass far too broad of a mandate for a single state agency. There’s more infighting than progress. No board candidate – or department executive – could ever realistically have the breadth of experience across both divisions to oversee such a department.

      I’m sure there’s a fifth. Jon Stewart might find it.

      You just can’t make this stuff up.

      The loss of the Port of Charleston as a viable, competitive access point for container shipping will be a huge, huge blow to the entire state from Spartanburg to Williamsburg County. A little less than 200 years ago South Carolina ran one of the first American railroads to Augusta to cut off the Port of Savannah. I really don’t understand why people are simply willing to roll over and give the next 50+ years of economic vitality and growth to Georgia. What gives here in this state?

    12. Steven Davis

      Well Kathryn… where is the dental school in South Carolina located. Answer: Medical University of South Carolina… or in other words, medical school.


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